Sewing room storage unit and using up scraps

Oh! Whew! The past ten days have been delightfully busy. I’ve wanted to share here on my blog as things have been happening but just had to admit that being busy is tiring and sitting in front of a computer screen when my brain is crying out for sleep just isn’t an option! I’ve decided not to attempt writing a chronological post – it would be VERY long and could lack the spark that comes from writing about what’s stirring my creative juices right now 🙂

So I’ll jump straight in and share what I’ve been doing today: I have been inspired to design and make a cover for a mobile storage unit I bought from Hobbycraft at the weekend. It is a metal unit with plastic drawers and rolls along on casters.

Hobbycraft Storage Trolley by Allison Reid

The unit is 24″ high, 23″ wide and 15″ deep: an ideal size to slip under a table or worktop and, I’m hoping, an ideal size to double as a bedside table. My sewing room is also our guest room, the result of a building project completed three years ago. Since the extension was completed I’ve gradually been replacing ‘make-do’ furnishings with pieces that better suit the dual function of the room. A few months ago three IKEA Billy bookcases replaced the old kitchen cupboard and plastic shelving that had served as bookcase and storage units. The mobile storage unit is the latest replacement piece of furniture. Being removed from the room will be a desk we rescued from a demolished cabin bed. I emptied the contents of the desk drawers, managed to de-clutter some things and sorted the rest into the new drawer unit along with the contents of storage box – one less loose item in the room 🙂

Storage trolley filled by Allison Reid
Drawers filled and trolley looking a bit overloaded already!

The shiny metal Hobbycraft trolley looks a bit clinical so I decided to make a cover that could be draped over it to give it a more homely look when it’s being used as a bedside table. Inspiration for the design of the cover came from a ‘Scrap Buster’ workshop I held at Purple Stitches last week.

Scrap Buster workshop by Allison Reid

Six lovely ladies heaped their scraps on the table and set about creating patchwork blocks using three methods: crazy patchwork, foundation strip piecing and a leaders and enders method of creating a quilt á la Amanda Jean Nyberg’s Scrap Vortex tutorials. The students laughed at themselves for feeling quite ‘naughty’ to be working outside some of the norms of traditional piecing: cutting fabrics with scissors *GASP* and not having to align seams 😀 It was a fun class to teach!

My design for the trolley cover includes four string blocks at the centre. I chose the fabrics from my scraps, using the colours of the guest bedding and the carpet as my guide.

Guest bedding and carpet by Allison Reid Selected scraps by Allison Reid

I cut four 6½” squares from sheets of Carol Doak’s foundation paper, reduced the stitch length setting on my sewing machine and set about stitching and flipping the fabric strips onto the papers. I find great satisfaction in trimming foundation string blocks. Those ragged edges cut away to reveal lovely neat, perfectly square blocks 🙂

Untrimmed string block by Allison Reid Back of untrimmed string block by Allison Reid

Four string blocks by Allison Reid

I think I will piece the blocks together, with the turquoise centre, as they are in the photo above but it’s fun to rotate the blocks and see the alternative colourway produced:

Four string blocks alternative colourway by Allison Reid

Next up I need to make twenty flying geese to form borders on either side of the strip blocks. Sadly, I don’t think I have enough time to complete the cover before our guests arrive at the end of this week – maybe by the time our Christmas guests are here the trolley will be disguised? Have you made patchwork covers to disguise pieces of furniture?

Linking with Connie at Free Motion by the River for Linky TuesdayLinkyTuesday






3 thoughts on “Sewing room storage unit and using up scraps

  1. This looks neat so far and will perfect on the cart! I also just finished a table runner using string blocks! Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your new cart. It will be so handy with the wheels, should you want to take your work to another room. The blues/aquas on your blocks look beautiful.

    I wanted to let you know that the link to your website on blogger sends one to your old blog’s website. I don’t know if it matters but thought you might like to know.


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